Elizabeth Phillips


University of Washington, United States

I am a PhD student in the Fisheries Acoustics Research Lab advised by Dr. John Horne. I am using at-sea surveys and telemetry to examine the influence of the Columbia River plume on sooty shearwater and common murre distributions. I am coupling acoustic surveys and net samples of forage fish and juvenile salmon to disentangle the influence of environmental conditions and prey abundance on seabirds. Because all salmon emerge from freshwater rivers that drain into the ocean, river plumes are an important part of their early life history and may be areas of high predation mortality. Plumes may also be important foraging or wintering habitats for seabirds. Thus, I am focusing on forage fish and seabirds that aggregate in or near river plumes.

My research interests include describing and quantifying marine ecological processes, especially predator-prey and trophic interactions, as well as oceanographic influences on seabird ecology. I have also studied population dynamics and food habits of marine mammals, mortality factors affecting seabirds (oiling, marine debris, fisheries bycatch, starvation, Harmful Algal Blooms), demography, rehabilitation and captive animal husbandry, and citizen science.